With the sales market as a whole performing robustly, the lack of availability of high-quality cells in recent weeks has led to a sizeable rise in purchase prices, says Centrosolar. In light of this, the gross margin is expected to decline in the third quarter. Given the continuing sharp growth in cell manufacturing capacity worldwide, it believes this is a transitional effect. However, because the precise extent and duration of the temporary reduction in margins cannot yet be forecast accurately, the most recent EBIT forecast of 24 to 28 million is retained for the time being, even if the lower end of this bandwidth appears to be too conservative as matters stand.
In a statement, the company said: Centrosolar Group AG approaches 2011 in a very positive frame of mind. This is because unlike many other solar businesses, Centrosolar is profiting from a market characterized by surplus capacity, as is indeed forecast for 2011. On the one hand, the company is one step closer to the customer thanks to its strong international setup with an area-wide sales network in the major sales markets for photovoltaic roof systems, which are expected to enjoy strong growth likewise in 2011. On the other hand, the company's flexible purchasing policy will enable it to secure favorable purchasing terms amid the price war that is then likely to break out among solar cell manufacturers. On this basis, the company yet again expects both volume growth, especially on its export markets, and attractive margins in 2011.
With revenue of 209 million and an operating result of 21.1 million for the first half of the year, the company says it has easily succeeded in bettering its previous year's figures (revenue 22 million, earnings – 11.3 million). Within the second quarter in particular, it says new records were set for revenue and earnings. For example, second quarter revenue of 124 million was more than double the figure for the prior-year quarter and around 46 percent up on the previous quarter.
The operating result before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 12.9 million both easily exceeded the previous quarterly record and surpassed the company's own expectations; this meant that more than three-quarters of the previously upgraded earnings forecast of 24 to 28 million had already been achieved by mid-way through the year, it explained.
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